Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Pastors’

But There are Many Interpretations!

By John Divito

Do you want to know what I consider a dangerous Christian? Someone who believes that he and his Bible with his personal relationship with Jesus are enough. This not only underestimates our sin but also neglects our need for our church family. God never intended for us to live the Christian life alone. So He provides for His church pastors and teachers to lovingly lead His people with the truth of His Word. He also provides faithful men and women to help us grow in our knowledge and understanding of Scripture.

Read the entire article here.

Advertisements

The Glory of a True Church- What tends to the Glory and Beauty of a true Gospel Church

November 18, 2016 Leave a comment

What tends to the Glory and Beauty of a true Gospel Church

That which Primarily tends to the Glory of a Church is the Foundation on which it is Built, which is Jesus Christ. Now this is a blessed and glorious Foundation.117

I. In respect of God the Father, who laid this Foundation in his eternal Purpose, Counsel, and Decree; Behold I lay in Sion:118 and this is as the result of his infinite Wisdom, Love and Mercy to his Elect.

II. In respect had unto Christ himself, who is this Foundation.

(1.) He is a Suitable Foundation.

1st. In respect to the Glory of God in all his Attributes.

2ly. In respect to our Good; the answering all our wants, who are united to him, or built upon him.

3ly. In respect of the preciousness of Christ, as a Foundation; a Stone; a precious Stone.

4ly. In respect to the Durableness of it, i.e. a tryed Stone; a sure Foundation.119

Brethren, a Foundation of a House must of necessity be laid; no House can be built without a good Foundation, that will stand firm, and unmovable; it is the strongest part of the Building, and it beareth all the weight of the whole Superstructure: So doth Jesus Christ.

III. The Beauty and Glory of a true Church, consists in the true and regular, or right Constitution of it; nothing being wanting that is Essential to it, upon this account.

IV. It consisteth in the Excellency, Glory, and Suitableness of the materials ’tis Built with, answering to the Foundation, all precious Stones, lively Stones; all regenerated Persons.120

V. In that all the Stones be well Hewed and Squared; all made fit for the Building, before laid in. Were it thus, there would not be so great a Noise of the Hammer and Ax, in Church Discipline, as indeed there is. It was not thus in the Type, I mean in Solomon’s Temple.121

VI. It’s Beauty and Glory consisteth in that all the Stones being not only united by the Spirit, to Christ the Foundation, but also to one another in sincere Love and Affection. In whom all the Building, fitly Framed together, groweth up unto an holy Temple in the Lord.122

VII. It consisteth in the Holiness and Purity of the Lives and Conversations of all the Members: Be ye Holy, for I am Holy.123 Holiness becomes thy House, O God, for Ever.124

VIII. It consisteth in the sweet Union and Concord that ought to be in the Church; all like the Horses in Pharoah’s Chariot, drawing together:125 Endeavouring to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace.126 By this shall all Men know ye are my Disciples, if you Love one another.

IX. In their having the divine Presence with them: Or when the Glory of God fills his Temple.127.

X. In keeping out all unsanctified, or unclean Persons, or if they get in, to purge them out by a strict and holy Discipline, or else it will soon lose its Beauty.128

XI. In that Zeal and Equality that should be shewed in all to keep up the Honour, Peace, and Comfort of the Church, and the Ministry thereof.129

XII. In the Administration of right Discipline; to see no neglect nor delaying of Justice, thro carelessness, or Partiality: (1.) No ways partaking of other Mens Sins; which may be done by Conniving at it; (2.) By Lessening or Extenuating of it (3.) By Countenancing, or any ways Incouraging any in Sin. (4.) By not Restoring a Brother, that confesses his Sin when overtaken. (5.) Not bringing in a just Charge against an Offender, nor rebuking him; and yet have Communion with him.

2ly. Not to wrest Judgment, out of it’s true and right Channel: Nor to inflict a greater censure than the Law of Christ requires on any.

3ly. Timely to acquit, and discharge a penitent Person.

4ly. Not to do any thing out of Prejudice, but in Love, and Bowels, of affection; and to do all in Christ’s Name, or by his authority.

XIII. To Sympathize with the Afflicted, Succour the Tempted, and Relieving the Poor and Distressed: Rejoicing with them that Rejoice, and Mourning with them that Mourn.

XIV. To speak evil of no Man; not only speaking no evil of their Brethren, but of no Man, to his hurt or injury, detracting from his Worth and Honour: See Sirach, Whether it be to Friend or Foe, talk not of other Men’s Lives; and if thou canst, without Offence, reveal them not.130 We must not discourse his Faults, unless in a Gospel-way; and that too, to amend the Person, and not out of Passion, or Prejudice to expose him, but out of Love to his Soul. Yet we may speak of the evils of others, (1.) When called to do it, in a Legal or Gospel way; and it is a Sin then to conceal his Crime. (2.) Or when it is to prevent another, who is in danger to be Infected by his Company, or ill Example. (3.) Or in our own just Defence and Vindication. Moreover, consider the evil of Reproaching of others.

First as to the causes why some do it.

I. One Cause is from want of Love: Nay from Malice; and Hatred.

1. From the Baseness, ill Nature, and Cruelty of the accusers Disposition.

2. ’Tis occasioned from that itch, of talking and medling in the Affairs of other Men.

3. Or perhaps to raise their own Esteem and Honour, some Degrade their Brother; which is Abominable.

Consider it is theft, or Robbery; nay, and ‘tis worse than to Rob a Man of his Goods, because thou takest away that which perhaps thou canst not restore again.

Moreover consider, That such who reproach others, lay themselves open thereby to Reproach.

4. Moreover know, he that Receives, or Hearkens to the Scandal, is as Guilty as the Accuser; he is like a person that receives Stolen Goods, and so is as bad as the Thief.

This being one of the Grand and Notorious Evils of these Days I speak the more to it.

If you abominate this evil, and avoid it, you will shine in Grace and Vertue the more clearly.

Alas, in our days, some that would be thought to be great Professers stick not to vilifie Christ’s Ministers, even some of the best of Men; and are so full of Malice, they care not what wrong they do to their Brethren, nor to the truth it self, or interest of God, and so expose themselves to a lasting shame, and their Spirit, and Practice, to an abhorrance;131 they are like cursed Cham who discovered his Fathers nakedness;132 these persons violate all Laws, both Humane and Divine.

3ly. When they bear one anothers Burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ:133 And that you may do this, consider where is that Church in which there are no Burdens to be Born.

[Motives thus to do.]

1. Consider what a Burden Jesus Christ hath born for thee.

2. What a Burden thou hast to bear of thine own.134

3. Mayst not thou in some things be a Burden to thy Brethren?

4. Wouldst thou not have others bear thy Burden.

5. May not God cause thee to bear a more heavy Burden; because thou canst not bear thy Brother’s?

6. ’Tis a fulfilling the Law of Love, nay the Law of Christ.135

XV. The Glory and Beauty of a Congregation, is the more manifest, when the Authority of the Church, and the Dignity of the Pastoral Office is maintained. How great was the Evil of the gain-saying of Corah?136 The Apostle speaks of some that are Selfwilled Presumptious, who are not afraid to speak evil of Dignities.137

God has put a Glory and high Dignity upon the Church and in it’s Authority and Power; Whom ye bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven.

Moreover, the Pastoral Office, is an Office of Dignity; they are called Rulers, Angels, Fathers.138 For any therefore to cast contempt on the Church, or Pastor, is a great evil, and a reproach to Christ, and tends to Disorder and Confusion.139

Lastly, When Holiness, Righteousness, Charity, Humility, and all true Piety is prest upon the Consciences of every Member, and appears in the Minister: also that all strive to excell therein, with their uttermost Care and Diligences.140

Benjamin Keach- The Glory of a True Church, And its Discipline Displayed (1697)

Dispensability

September 28, 2015 Leave a comment

by Jeremy Walker

It would be unfair to say that I am plotting my own demise. It may be that there are plenty of people more than willing to plot that on my behalf. However, I do think it makes sense to take full account of my own expected and intended dispensability. The fable of indispensability afflicts most of us almost naturally. We come to see ourselves at the centre of a particular web, the one without whom some sparkling edifice will most assuredly collapse. If God gifts one or another with an unusual measure of gift or degree of grace, paradoxically, that one can be all the more inclined to imagine themselves irreplaceable. Some learn it a hard way: try falling sick for a couple of months, and watch the kingdom of God stutter and stumble along without you … or not. Even Paul, lest he be exalted above measure, was blessed with a thorn in the flesh.

To be sure, we must take account of certain realities. By the grace of God, each of us is what we are, formed, forged, fashioned by a sovereign God for his wise and perfect purposes. We must not deny that it is for the Lord to appoint those formed, forged and fashioned instruments for particular purposes in particular times under particular circumstances, to raise up men to meet the needs of the hour. At no point can we or need we trespass upon the divine prerogative. God employs us in his kingdom for his glory; he does not rely on us.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Obadiah Holmes Whipped for Baptist Beliefs

September 7, 2015 Leave a comment

Obadiah HolmesThud. The whip’s three cords slammed onto the bare back of Obadiah Holmes, who stood tied to the post. Thud… Thud… Thud. Thirty times the executioner struck with all his force. It was on this day, September 5, 1651 in Boston, Massachusetts.

According to witnesses, Obadiah did not groan or scream. Instead, he preached to the crowd. When the whipping was over, he said, “You have struck me as with roses.” To observers, it was obvious that he was badly wounded. As a matter of fact, he was so hurt that he had to stay in Boston for several weeks while he recovered, and could only eat while kneeling on his elbows and knees.

Read the entire article here.

Biblical Elders and Deacons by Nehemiah Coxe

Coxe-Elders-Deacons-Book

 

Biblical Elders and Deacons

by Nehemiah Coxe D. 1688

[Download in .ePub .mobi & .pdf formats]

Chapel Library:

Christ’s will as revealed in Scripture is the pattern for the church, and Nehemiah Coxe unfolds aspects of that pattern that relate to church leadership. “The edification and beauty of the Church is much concerned in her order, not such an order as superstition will dictate, or litigious nicety contend for, but such as sets her in a conformity with Christ’s will; and particularly the filling up of the offices which He has appointed, with persons duly qualified for the administration of them, and the regular acting both of officers and members in their respective positions.”

Pages: 32.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

I. Exposition

II. Appointment of Deacons

III. Appointment of Elders

IV. A Pastor’s Duty toward His People

V. The People’s Duty toward Their Pastors

VI. Conclusion

Biography

 

 

Source [Confessingbaptist]

When America Put Pastors in Prison: The Baptist Battle for Religious Liberty

In 1774, James Madison wrote to a friend in Pennsylvania about troubling developments in Virginia. There were reasons to worry about oppressive British taxes, of course, but that was not Madison’s primary concern in this letter. The “worst” news he had to deliver was that the “diabolical Hell conceived principle of persecution” was raging in the colony. “There are at this [time] . . . not less than 5 or 6 well meaning men in [jail] for publishing their religious sentiments. . . . Pray for liberty of conscience to revive among us.” While today we tend to think of early America as a bastion of religious liberty, many in the colonial era lamented its absence.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

What Does The Bible Teach About Women Deacons?

By Earl M. Blackburn

Due to the pressure of the feminist movement and evangelical egalitarianism, some evangelical and Reformed churches have ordained women into the office of deacon. Usually 1 Timothy 3:11 is used as a biblical basis to substantiate the position of women deacons. Paul’s commendation of Phoebe (Romans 16:1-2) is further used to support this belief and action. Occasionally, certain segments of church history are referenced to buttress the claim. I believe this position is an unbiblical one and should be avoided in all biblical and confessional churches for the following reasons:

First, women deacons violate 1 Timothy 2:12 and the biblical teaching of “office.” The biblical office of deacon was instituted primarily to distribute to the poor widows in the church. This was done so that the apostles, and later the pastors and elders, would be able to give themselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:1-7). The initial founding principle of the diaconate is seen as encompassing the temporal matters of the functioning of each local church……

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.